Organic Chemistry Research Laboratory — Sacramento, California

Science Center Objects

About the Laboratory

Chemists and hydrologists at the Organic Chemistry Research Laboratory (OCRL) develop targeted analytical methods for the quantitation of chemicals that can impact the health of organisms and humans. They have developed methods in a wide variety of environmental media; in addition to water and sediment, they also analyze a variety of tissue matrices (for example, amphibians, insects, fish, plants, pollen).

Pollen samples from various plants collected from hedgerows

Small sample bottles with pollen inside

(Credit: Michelle L. Hladik, California Water Science Center. Public domain.)

Key Instrumentation

  • Two gas chromatograph single quadrupole mass spectrometers for chemical quantitation (water and sediment)
  • Gas chromatograph triple quadrupole mass spectrometer for chemical quantitation (tissue and sediments)
  • Bioinert liquid chromatograph triple quadrupole mass spectrometer for chemical quantitation (water, sediment, tissue)
  • Extraction equipment for working with a variety of sample matrices

 

    A U.S. Geological Survey chemist evaporating sample extracts in laboratory hood to concentrate pesticide residues

    USGS chemist working with samples in a laboratory hood

    (Credit: Michelle L. Hladik, USGS. Public domain.)

    Key Analytical Capabilities

    • Pesticides and Pesticide Degradates
      • Neonicotinoids
      • Pyrethroids
      • Fungicides
    • Disinfection Byproducts
    • Ability to measure environmentally relevant concentrations in small sample volumes
    • Custom method/matrix development

     

    U.S. Geological Survey chemist homogenizes a tissue sample

    USGS chemist homogenizes a tissue sample into a mortar and pestle

    (Credit: Michelle L. Hladik, USGS. Public domain.)

     

      Gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer (GCMS) used for pesticide analysis

      Gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer - GCMS

      (Credit: Michelle L. Hladik, USGS. Public domain.)

      Liquid chromatograph-tandem mass spectrometer used for pesticides

      Liquid chromatograph-tandem mass spectrometer used for pesticide analysis.

      (Credit: Michelle L. Hladik, USGS. Public domain.)